Trailhead: Cinnamon Pass
Road: Cinnamon Pass 4wd Road
Elevation Gain: 4,322'
With the weather being less than ideal, my plan for a backpack into the Weminuche went out the window. So what's the next best plan in the San Juans? Hit up the 4x4 roads near Silverton for some 13er mini golf! Coordinated plans with the Finncutters and Valerie for part of the long weekend, packed up my truck with food and gear, and I was off on Wednesday for a quick ski and the long drive to Silverton and Cinnamon Pass.
On the "trail" at 4am, heading north along the pass/ridge line until I come across a convenient mining road that heads to a saddle with Wood Mtn that avoids some ridge annoyances. Got to the summit around 5am, greeted by first light on the surrounding peaks. Looks like sunrise will be pretty in a little while! I had originally thought to add on Pt 13,688 later in the day, but on my way to Pt 13,709 I was greeted to the sounds of a waterfall of rocks that came from somewhere along the ridge. Spooky. So I kept on walking on the nice talus ridge to the next point.
First light behind Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre
Looking over to Pt 13,688
Sunrise behind ridge to Pt 13,688
Rosey skies to the south
I arrive on the summit of the unranked Pt 13,709 for a beautiful sunrise. It's mornings like these in the mountains, that I know why I do this. The beauty and peace that surrounds me is amazing! A small bit of quiet and calm in a chaotic and crazy world.
With the nature of the peaks and the chosen route, I would have to summit/skirt this unranked peak 3 times...
Sunrise #1 behind Pt 13,688
First light on Animas Forks Mountain
Summit of Pt 13,709
Day #1 view of Grenadiers
It was a quick stroll over to Seigal Mountain on a faint but consistent trail, where I got a nice view of the road into California Gulch and the peaks for the next day.
Hanson, California, Hurricane, Houghton and Tuttle, peaks for Friday
The ridge over to Animas Forks Mountain looked like it could be interesting, but it never exceeded class 2+
Ridge to Animas Forks Mountain
Pano of route on north side of pass
On my return to the saddle with Wood Mtn, I noticed that there was a talus trail just to the south of the ridge proper for the entirely of the ridge. So you can either take that or the ridge line, both go. At the saddle I had a look at the ridge to Pt 13,688 in full daylight. While Furthermore may have done this, I wasn't quite comfortable today, and figured it would be better from the Matterhorn side anyway. After the rockfall concert I got at day break, I didn't want to mess with loose rock and exposure solo.
Ridge to Pt 13,688
I decided to drop from the saddle to an old mining road below, that would take me back to the pass, and the other two peaks for the day.
Some pretty flowers to brighten my day
The route up Cinnamon Mountain follows a decent talus trail to the ridge. Once above the talus, it will be tundra walking for all but the summits themselves. So nice on the feet at the end of the day!
Cinnamon Mountain from pass
Looking at Cinnamon Pass, from Cinnamon Mountain
Tundra walk to next peak
Looking back at Cinnamon
Ridge up to Pt 13,535 - had hoped it was scrambly, but nope
Handies from Pt 13,535 - looks quite different than the last time I was here in April!
Once back at my truck, I drive back down the very empty west side of Cinnamon Pass and to the Animas Forks townsite for some lunch and a stroll around the ruins in my flip flops. There I found all the 4x4'ers gearing up for their day of driving around. Glad I got over the couple of rocky narrow sections before the traffic!
Animas Forks townsite
Animas Forks Mill
Day 2: California & Placer Gulch 13ers - 4x4 Love Part II
Day 3: Stony Pass 13ers - By Bob
Day 4: Kendall Mountain Group - 4x4 Love Part IV